5 Nacho-Inspired Dishes That Will Make You Forget Tortilla Chips Even Exist

By: Emily Lee
FNK_ZucchiniFriedNachos_H

FNK_ZucchiniFriedNachos_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Zucchini Fried Nachos for Summer Slow Cooker/Zucchini Fries/Picnic Brick-Pressed Sandwiches, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Food Network Kitchen’s Zucchini Fried Nachos for Summer Slow Cooker/Zucchini Fries/Picnic Brick-Pressed Sandwiches, as seen on Food Network.

What is a tortilla chip but a mere vessel for delivering ample amounts of seasoned meat and melted cheese to our mouths? If you don’t care for tortilla chips — or can’t eat them, perhaps due to a corn allergy — that doesn’t mean nachos are out of bounds.

We’ve expanded our definition of nachos by applying popular topping combinations, such as meat, cheese, avocado and salsa, to other foods — think baked sweet potatoes, crunchy sweet peppers and more. Purists will balk at the suggestion of nachos sans corn chips, but try these no-chip recipes and you’ll find that the best part is the toppings.

We invite anyone who believes you can’t have nachos without tortilla chips to try Food Network Kitchen’s cheesy Zucchini Fry Nachos. The crisp fried zucchini offers a juicy quality that you can’t get from corn chips. For toppings, we recommend diced shredded cheese, avocado, lime juice and pickled jalapenos for the right balance of fresh and comforting flavor.

Jackie Alpers Food photographer | Mini Pepper Nachos

Jackie Alpers Food photographer | Mini Pepper Nachos

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2016,Television FoodNetwork, G.P.All Rights Reserved

Jackie Alpers, 2016,Television FoodNetwork, G.P.All Rights Reserved

For a corn-free alternative to tortilla chips with even more scooping power, slice mini peppers in half lengthwise, then spoon warm cheese sauce over the top. Sprinkle the peppers with classic nacho toppings like black beans, jalapeno and diced avocado.

20121016_FoodNetwork _S04_0151.tif

20121016_FoodNetwork _S04_0151.tif

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks,Food Stylist: Jamie KimmProp Stylist: Paige Hicks

Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

Repurpose last night’s chicken dinner by topping leftover drumsticks with grated cheese and reheating until it’s melted and gooey. For a stronger nod to classic nachos, add salsa, guacamole and jalapenos.

A hot dog topped with avocado, cheese and jalapenos on a bun placed in a hot dog wrap

A hot dog topped with avocado, cheese and jalapenos on a bun placed in a hot dog wrap

Hot Dogs

Bobby Flay tops his juicy grilled Nacho Dogs with chunky guacamole and tomato-chipotle salsa for a Tex-Mex twist on the all-American cookout food.

SpicySweetPotatoes_247.tif

SpicySweetPotatoes_247.tif

Food Styling: Jamie Kimm Prop Styling: Paige Hicks

Photo by: Christopher Testani

Christopher Testani

Sweet Potatoes

These loaded sweet potatoes from Food Network Magazine are perfect for the nacho lover who doesn’t like to share. Pile on seasoned beef, low-fat cheddar, salsa and crunchy shredded cabbage for a hearty main dish that’s lower in fat than most pub-sized nacho portions.

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